October 28, 2013 | Written by: Dan Hiebert
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Have you ever had a conversation on private cloud technologies and within five minutes you could tell that the other person’s head was spinning? Perhaps he or she got that glazed look, and it seemed as if the world was starting to flip upside down. Maybe you occasionally got a ray of hope when the light bulb turned on and the person you were talking to grabbed hold of the concepts and technology.
In my day job, I do occasional demos directly with customers on IBM SmartCloud Entry and OpenStack. As a presenter of cloud technology at IBM, I get to talk with all kinds of companies who have varying skill levels related to cloud. In these demos, many people are newly embarking on the cloud journey. One of my primary goals is to bring a stop to the spinning world of confusion by providing clarity and removing ambiguity.
A big element of knowing cloud, using cloud and realizing the business benefit of cloud is removing the complexity and helping people to wrap their head around private cloud technologies. We need to simplify the key technologies into an easily consumed explanation.
Recently, it dawned on me that I had never seen a table with all the cloud management software shown in a single location. So I had fun putting together the simple table below, which explains what has taken me several years to comprehend, hopefully removing the complexity and showing others the basic cloud management technology, supported platforms and supported operating systems.
Let me define a few terms to ensure we are talking a similar language:
- Cloud provider (management software): I use the term to refer to various virtualization and cloud managers.
- Cloud instance: I use the term to mean a running management server. For example, OpenStack Production Cloud A and OpenStack Test Cloud B are generally described as two clouds, which are physically isolated from each other.
- Hypervisor: This is generally known as the agent on a compute node that allocates virtual machines.
- Virtual machine: This term usually means an operating system with assigned CPU, memory and storage.
A table of private cloud management software
It is my hope that through this table I can help others start to minimally understand several of the major private cloud management types. Understanding these technologies will go a long way toward giving you an aha moment.
Keep in mind that technology is always changing, like a moving target. The table is by no means exhaustive and is probably accurate only at the time of this posting.
Cloud providers and key cloud technologies
|Cloud provider or management software||Vendor/company||Hardware Platform||Hypervisor (compute node)||Operating systems|
|OpenStack||OpenStack.org||x86 Power||KVM, Hyper-V, ESXi, PowerVM, Xen||Windows, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), SUES Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), Ubuntu, Fedora, AIX, Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Power (LoP)|
|vCenter||VMware||x86||ESXi||Windows, RHEL, SLES, Ubuntu, Fedora|
|System Center||Microsoft||x86||Hyper-V||Windows, RHEL, SLES, Ubuntu, Fedora|
|Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager (RHEVM)||Red Hat||x86||KVM||Windows, RHEL, SLES, Ubuntu, Fedora|
|VMControl||IBM||x86 Power||PowerVM, KVM||Windows, RHEL, SLES, Ubuntu, Fedora, Power = (AIX, IBM i, LoP)|
|IBM Flex System Manager||IBM||x86 Power||PowerVM, KVM||Windows, RHEL, SLES, Ubuntu, Fedora, Power = (AIX, IBM i, LoP)|
|Apache CloudStack||cloudstack.apache.org||x86||KVM, Xen, ESXi||Windows, RHEL, SLES, Ubuntu, Fedora|
Just for fun, how many of these cloud providers can you manage through the single self-service portal in IBM SmartCloud Entry? I will give a hint: it is more than four.
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